ABBOTSFORD CANUCKS VS BAKERSFIELD CONDORS SERIES PREVIEW
The Abbotsford Canucks will wrap up their four game November home stand this weekend with a pair of games against playoff rivals, the Bakersfield Condors.
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The two sides will meet Thursday night and Saturday night at Abbotsford Centre, with the puck dropping on both nights at 7:00pm.
Bakersfield come into the contest having played the fewest games in the AHL so far this season (6). Across that span they have gone 4-2-0-0, outscoring their opponents 20-10 in the process. Their +10 goal differential is the second best by a team in the bottom half of the league standings, with 10 goals conceding being the fewest in the league.
Abbotsford enter the weekend second in the Pacific Division and fourth in the AHL, opening their season with a 6-4-1-0 record. The Canucks’ 41 goals scored is the second most in the AHL, and are coming off of a 2-0 home win over the division leading Henderson Silver Knights.
The Condors will be without their top three point scorers this weekend, as Raphael Lavoie, James Hamblin and Sam Gagner are all currently with the Edmonton Oilers’ roster. Leading the active roster in goals is Noel Hoefenmayer and former Abbotsford Canuck Lane Pederson, each scoring twice to start the season. Xavier Bourgault and Ben Gleason lead the assist totals with three, as Hoefenmayer, Pederson, Bourgalt and Gleason lead the point totals for Bakersfield.
For Abbotsford, Arshdeep Bains remains on top of the scoring charts, holding the team lead in assist (13) and points (16). Nils Åman and Vasily Podkolzin are the goal scoring leaders with five each, and Christian Wolanin has 13 points (2G, 11A) in 11 games. Bains is tied for second in total AHL scoring, while Wolanin is tied for fifth in AHL scoring and leads all defensemen.
In net this weekend should be a new goaltending tandem for the Condors. Calvin Pickard was recalled to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday afternoon, while Jack Campbell cleared waivers and joined Bakersfield in Abbotsford. Campbell last played an AHL game in December of 2018, after spending five years with the Texas Stars and three with the Ontario Reign. Olivier Rodrigue will be the other half of the goaltender pairing, having played two games this season, winning both and only conceding twice in the process.
Artūrs Šilovs and Nikita Tolopilo have been the reliable duo this season for Abbotsford, with Šilovs going 4-1-1 and a shutout to open the season. Tolopilo has played the fourth most minutes out of rookie goaltenders (280:32), and has the third most saves (144) amongst that group.
Following Thursday and Saturday’s games, the Canucks will embark on a four game road trip stopping in Henderson on November 17th and 18th, and then fly home for a couple of days before heading over to face Calgary on November 25th and 26th. Abbotsford will then return home for two games against Laval on December 1st and 2nd (Teddy Bear Toss), and wrapping up with a pair of home games against Coachella Valley a week later.
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